Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol does not immediately seem like a disease to its millions of victims. Like a cancer it is life-threatening, an undetectable scourge quickly progressing. After the first drug or drink that we take, addiction is not certain. Some will escape the clutches of drugs such as marijuana with only a superficial encounter. Others quickly fall into its grasp, abusing the powerful chemicals and quickly developing dependence.
When I was 14 years-old and a freshman in high-school, marijuana caught hold of me. In a car ride to downtown a small bong was passed to me. My friend’s friend, whose initials are “AA” offered the drug to me. I remember thinking nothing of it. I might as well have been sipping a glass of cola. The powerful skunk weed blew me away. I had never been so high! My cognitive abilities (I mean they were gone) had been replaced by a cloudy incoherence and euphoric feeling. I don’t think I said much to my friends over the next hour. I was so stoned I could barely talk.
My friends dropped me off back at home “baked”. My parents were there and I made my way past them into my room. I turned on some “Skinemax” and proceeded to masturbate. I was already going out of control. Within a few weeks I was addicted to pot, using it alone and hiding from my parents. It was then that I began putting the pot between me and loved ones damaging our relationships. I chose to spend time high rather than around loved ones.
Unmanageability was characterized by an inability to do my life. Powerlessness emerged. I spent a lot my time searching for, buying, consuming and disposing of the ashes. My speech stunk. So did I. My savings were wasted. I abandoned my friends and family for the drug and my “using” buddies. These vital relationships began to crumble.
Using marijuana quickly became the focal point of my social life. For my friends and me if we weren’t going to get stoned before doing so sort of activity it probably wasn’t worth doing. Some things we couldn’t do while we were stoned thus limiting our possibilities. If we could safely navigate to a fast-food restaurant or someone’s house, the night was a success. I was mentally obsessed. I had a physical compulsion akin to alcohol—always wanting more. This led to using in excess. As the result, psychological changes began to occur. The full onset of addiction occurred with in me sometime while I was in high school. In retrospect it all looks so much different now. As a teenager there was no way of convincing me that there was a problem. Marijuana was harmless, socially acceptable and not a problem. When things began to crumble, such as my academic standing, social standing and family relations I turned to it as a crutch, using it to escape.
It was not long after that that I began to realize the drug was hurting me. However I was still so deep in denial that no one could tell me not to use it. My parents and friends were the first to clue me in that I was using too much. I had no idea prior to this. Soon a mandatory drug treatment program opened my eyes to the problem. However, I still had denial. It took me several years just to overcome the denial. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I knew I had a long road of recovery ahead, and it was going to be hard.
I was first introduced to the 12 steps of recovery when I was 19. My first A.A. meetings were hard because I couldn’t identify with alcoholism. I was told to substitute my drug of choice for “alcohol”. Regardless I just couldn’t relate. Alcoholics actually chided me for coming to their meetings. I went to an M.A. meeting and it was all poor Hispanics. I soon fell out of A.A. with only several months sober and never having worked the steps.
A few years ago the circumstances of my life again led me to A.A. The group of people there were more welcoming and easier to relate to. This time I got a sponsor and worked rather quickly through the first 8 steps. I had begun to understand that my marijuana use was actually abuse. There was no way I could use it responsibly. I was still obsessed. I still used in excess. My whole mind confused, I could get off of the drug long enough to realize that my life was better without it, but harder. Still in college, something told me the time wasn’t right to quit. I went back to using but moderated my use.
As you can tell my story is not one of utter success. It is rather an account of a long battle with marijuana. Much of the time marijuana has gotten the better of me. However, I have made solid progress over the last 11 years of recovery. It takes time to change and I can attest to that! I have improved and I know that I am getting better. I recall a time when I thought I would never stop using. If you feel that you will never stop, take heart! With the power of God you can.
I have been sober for two months now and my life has truly changed. The insanity that was a daily trip for me is over. My mind is clear and I have some peace in my life. I’m not ashamed of myself and I don’t feel guilty today. I have my family back. New hope springs up. I believe that I can do things I never thought were possible. Thank God.
By Kevin G.
Filed under: Latest News · Tags: 12 step meeting, 12-steps, AA, abuse, Addiction, addicts, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, battle with marijuana, cannabis, clarity, dependence, Drug Abuse, drug dependence, drug treatment, God, MA, marijuana, marijuana abuse, marijuana addict, Marijuana Anonymous, meeting, pot, Recovery, rehab, skunk weed, smoking marijuana, smoking pot, smoking weed, sober, sobriety, steps, stoned, Unmanageability, unmanageable, using in excess, weed, weed addict